World’s wind turbines to cross the 300 gigawatt mark – data

June 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:03pm EDT

* European Commission to issue guidelines on subsidies

* European wind growth stalled by financial crisis

BRUSSELS, June 14 (Reuters) – The world will have enough
wind turbines to generate more than 300 gigawatts of power – the
equivalent of 114 nuclear power plants – by the end of the year,
industry figures show.

As Brazil, China, Mexico and South Africa add turbines, the
figure represents modest growth compared with a year ago, when
the overall total capacity was just over 280 gigawatts.

“Worldwide installed wind power will exceed 300 gigawatts of
power capacity this year,” Peter Sennekamp, media officer for
the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said, citing
figures compiled by EWEA and the Global Wind Energy Council.

Europe, which has led the world on wind, still represents
around a third of all capacity, with more than 100 gigawatts,
but its growth has been stalled by uncertainty as financial
crisis has meant abrupt changes to subsidy regimes.

The European Commission, the European Union’s executive, has
supported the idea of harmonisation of subsidies across the
European Union and said it will publish guidelines before the
summer break in August.

However, EU authorities cannot dictate to member states what
kind of energy sources they use and how they are financed.

The most heated debate has been in Germany, ahead of
elections in September, where the cost of energy and progress of
implementing the nation’s Energiewende – or transition to green
energy and away from nuclear fuel – are election issues.

Heavy industry has attacked renewable subsidies, arguing
they add to costs and damage competitiveness, especially when
the United States benefits from cheap shale gas.

Representatives of the renewable industry say they are
working to produce energy that can compete economically with
traditional sources, which would lower political risk.

They say they have made progress on onshore wind and solar,
but for the huge scale of offshore wind, a technology still in
its infancy, subsidies are essential, probably for the rest of
the decade.

“We see six to seven (offshore) projects under way and then
there’s nothing. There’s no decision taken by investors,” Joerg
Buddenberg, CEO EWE Vertrieb, part of Germany’s EWE Group
, told reporters, referring to the German market.

Wind energy executives note conventional fuel sources have
long benefited from support in the form of tax breaks for oil
and gas and government help in disposing of spent nuclear fuel.

To mark global wind day on Saturday June 15, they are
calling on world leaders meeting for G8 talks next week to stick
to a commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

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